From big business to home users, software development has become the number 1 job in the IT sector. Here are the trends shaking up the industry in 2018.

Blockchain in high demand

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about blockchain and the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. But blockchain is not just a passing fad. Nearly every industry is going to revolutionised by blockchain technology, and in 2018 we will begin to see more ventures. We’ve already seen IBM, Amazon and Microsoft begin to introduce their own blockchain platforms, and it’s only a matter of time before more companies hop on the blockchain bandwagon. But what does this mean for the software industry? Being as they’re distributed databases, developing and testing blockchain platforms is no simple task. As more and more businesses move towards using blockchain, the demand for blockchain developers is going to grow. While blockchain applications will help businesses and developers build more efficient processes, implementing this technology will not be without it’s difficulties. Making blockchain something you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on this year.

From custom to cloud

For years, governments and other large enterprises have turned to custom-built software to meet their needs. But there are many cases where the results have been lacklustre, especially considering the cost involved in developing them. Over the last few years we’ve seen a rise in accessible and affordable cloud services, like those offered by Microsoft of Amazon, resulting in the ability to work across state and even national lines, providing a solution that saves considerable resources and time.  Unlike the custom build technology of the past, these platforms are fully built and tested, and their software can easily integrate with existing systems, removing the need to build something from scratch. Most of these cloud-based platforms can be configured, allowing the software to evolve with changing needs. This allows them to offer large enterprises ready-made, consumer efficient technologies catered to their specific needs and driving down the need for custom software development in large enterprises.

IoT takes over

There is no doubt that the Internet of Things (IOT) has created a data explosion. Almost every device we use, from smart phones to smart fridges, collect data about our daily habits. The data gathered by these devices is colossal, and plenty of companies have begun using it to provide better, safer service to consumers and clients.

Experts are predicting that by 2020, there will be more than 30 billion connected devices, generating a whopping $1.7 trillion in potential revenue opportunities. Embracing the shift and successfully managing the complexity that comes with IoT will be one of the biggest challenges for developers, IoT products and services will only ever be as good as the software running them. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, IoT is going to take the guesswork out of development, gathering data about how products function and are used by consumers. This means companies will be less likely to rely on traditional data gathering methods, like customer focus groups. However, IoT products and services will only be as good as the software behind them.  For the software development community, this means working to reduce risks in the software, provide secure architecture and complying with industry standards.

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